After writing my 21st post about appendicitis back in November, I swore I would not write about it again for the foreseeable future. Well, the future is now because investigators from the United Kingdom and Canada just published a meta-analysis including ten papers and 413 children about the efficacy and safety of nonoperative treatment for appendicitis in children. They concluded that nonoperative management is effective in 96 percent ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. An 81-year-old man is evaluated in the office 3 days following a percutaneous coronary intervention with placement of a bare metal stent in the left anterior descending artery for angina refractory to maximal medical therapy. He indicates that he feels well except for palpitations that were not present before the procedure. ...

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Part of a series. For most of recorded human history, lifespans did not change. Life expectancy doubled in the twentieth century. At the time of Lincoln the average life span was 38 years; today it is about 78 to 80 years. But whenever it ends it is like a waterfall. Most people begin to die near to the expected point; the drop off in percentage still living declines precipitously. Fortunately, ...

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When I was a practicing attorney, my colleagues and I would sit around at lunch, arguing about whose sandwich was better. Alone in our world of books and “right and wrong,” (as in “I’m right, and you’re wrong”), we spent hours creating problems to solve so we could make money. Lawyers -- like many professionals -- form their own little bubble, but unlike say, IT guys or architects, our bubble ...

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“Why do you eat so healthy?” or “Where’s your kale today?” I would hear regularly. For as long as I can remember, my colleagues and friends have often smirked at my lunch choice. To me, I always ate what I enjoyed (even if it was the occasional french fry), and my diet and lifestyle were all about balance. Growing up, I played competitive soccer for 10 years and knew my performance ...

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Many patients are referred to me as a psychiatrist to treat their depression.  The new patients that come to me for depressive symptoms usually expect that I will be recommending and prescribing an antidepressant for their depressive symptoms because that is what a psychiatrist does, right?  Not always. Often times these patients come to me having gone through several antidepressant trials without any successful resolution of their depressive symptoms.  Well, sometimes ...

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STAT_Logo The publication of Andrew Wakefield’s notorious and now discredited research on autism and vaccines in 1998 triggered a surge of worry about vaccine safety. Since then, questions about a purported connection between autism and vaccines have been asked and definitively answered: There is no link. But there are other factors linked to the development of autism that have ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 28-year-old man is evaluated in follow-up for elevated liver chemistry test results, which were performed to assess a 3-month history of fatigue. He has no history of liver disease and has not had abdominal pain or fever. His medical history is significant for a 3-year history of diarrhea. Following a ...

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One night in 1997, as Americans watched Touched by an Angel they were touched by something else unexpected: an ad for a prescription allergy pill called Claritin, sold directly to patients. Prescription drugs had never been sold directly to the public before -- a marketing tactic called direct-to-consumer or DTC advertising. How could average people, who certainly had not been to medical school, know if the medication was appropriate or safe ...

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As a consumer and admirer of movies, I always look forward to the Academy Awards.  A celebration of the best movies and performances of the past year.  A night filled with spectacular performances, glamor, and amazing speeches. The speeches are truly special for me since we get a glimpse into the true character and soul of the award winners as they thank those who helped them along their journey. I feel like ...

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